The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday August 9th

Bonfires are not ‘innocent fun,’ should be banned

TO THE EDITOR:

 In response to the “Leaders not anti-bonfire” (Oct. 5) article: I believe someone needs to express how ridiculous the position of the Carolina Athletic Association and Carolina Fever on this issue really is.

The idea that the bonfires are an act by consenting adults, who accept risk of harm, is mistaken.

One, it ignores the chance, the likelihood really, that someone not involved in the bonfires can be harmed.

With so many people crowded into one area, pushing and shoving is bound to lead someone to the flames, whether they know it or not. Anyone who has been in a good mosh pit would see my logic.

Two, we have to consider alcohol. This campus has been buzzing lately about the issue of consent in cases of intoxication.

Celebrations of our many basketball victories will inevitably involve lots of drinking and it is unwise to trust the inebriated with flames, car keys or members of the opposite sex.

Finally, I ask: how is starting a public bonfire in celebration any different from using fireworks or discharging firearms into the air, both of which are illegal activities?

All these practices are dangerous, potentially lethal and perpetrated by those consenting adults. We may discuss degrees of possible harm or likelihood of death, but at the end of the day, hurt is hurt.

Some may see bonfires as “tradition” or “innocent fun,” but people get hurt in these celebrations and the school and law enforcement should step up.

I commend our student body president for taking the unpopular stance on this issue.


Simon Conrad
Senior
Political science, Spanish

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